The curious case of the Moesern-based For Friends Hotel, accommodation whose ethos was predicated on stylish clean lines, minimalist chic with artistic tendencies that, barely a year after opening its doors filed for bankruptcy, has taken what seems to be a decisive turn towards acquiring new ownership, reports the Tiroler Tageszeitung daily.

The failure of what has in some circles been labelled a vanity project seems to point to a mammoth overspend during the construction period where, the former Hotel Moesererhof was transformed into an modern edifice not particularly designed with a sympathetic nod to its natural surroundings. In projects such as these it isn’t difficult to see how the scheme’s progenitors became swept along with the idealistic concept of a hotel that in reality, a bottomless pit of money would struggle to satisfy. This isn’t though just a straightforward story of well-meaning but careless custodians taking their eyes off the bottom line but is in fact a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma, since details emerged of the ailing hotel’s ownership being rooted in Prague, the apparent Czech-based shell companies receiving backing from Ukrainian high society.

An ongoing financial appraisal of the business will soon yield an official value for which it is to be marketed although the starting gun for overseas interest in the ‘For Friends’ has already sounded. German interest in the hotel is unsurprising, given the close proximity of Moesern to the Austro-Bavarian border. Creditor exposure to the failed For Friends Hotel has been considerable and will therefore create a difficult balancing act for insolvency administrators tasked with overseeing the sale. Should the asking price be too high – to reflect the debt burden carried by creditors – there is a risk that the hotel won’t sell; conversely an undervalued asset won’t provide any tangible return for the likes of Hypo Tirol Bank, the €12 million due to the Innsbruck-based institution by far the largest single amount owed by the For Friends Hotel GmbH.

The loss of over fifty jobs to the local tourism sector was regrettable but it is assumed the vast majority of those defenestrated after the hotel’s closure would’ve found similar work on the Seefeld plateau. In this most unusual scenario virtually unheard of in the cash-rich Tirol, a rare salutary lesson must be taken on board by all prospective hoteliers who seek to place style above substance.

Further reading on this matter can be found at:

Tiroler Tageszeitung: For Friends Hotel seeks buyers